It's not a huge secret that dogs are increasingly being used in Military and Law Enforcement applications. The DoD spent 19 Billion (with a B) dollars on developing a super gadget to find IEDs. Still couldn't outperform the dogs. With dogs being deployed as MPCs, CWDs, MWDs, PSDs, TEDDs, PEDs, and a lot of other acronyms, it doesn't take a lot of time to figure out that the animal needs specialized equipment just as his handler does. A lot of times the dogs are asked to go into uncomfortable places and do... uncomfortable things. These include a range of areas, structures, temperatures, vehicles etc etc. One of the key pieces of equipment the dog has is its patrol harness. The harness provides protection, identification, multiple lead attachment points and areas for the handler to attache specific equipment depending on what's going on at that moment.
Enter Remington K9. Yes that Remington. Everyone knows the name. Everyone has seen or shot one of their hunting rifles. They've been around forever. They have close ties to the SOF community in the United States Military. One of the main outlets for MWDs, CWDs, and MPCs is that community. It didn't take take long for that community of professionals to ask one of their trusted firearms supplies to also make them a purpose built harness. Remington set out and asked those handlers what they wanted or needed. The range of requests varied but a few collective things came down and..... They built the Operator Harness.
Remington builds the Operator out of top shelf materials and hardware. Instead of standard Cordura, the Operator uses a 3-layer laminated material from Trelleborg. A few key things about the material make it worth the added cost. The first is it will not absorb water. It keeps the harness from smelling and prevents drip trails should the harness get wet. When Nylon gets wet it loses a lot of it strength and stretches. We've see it a lot; a well made nylon harness will repeatably get wet and start to stretch out and become ill fitting. The Operator material prevents this. It'll maintain its form and shape over the life of product. The Trelleborg material is also substantially more durable with respect to tears, scuffs and snags than a Cordura counter part. It can also be modified in the field with out the need for binding tape or stitching to prevent fraying. To provide a great fit, Remington uses Neoprene around the legs to accommodate variations in coat or chest size of K9s. With the added, included, expansion panel you can fit any 'standard sized' pointed eared shepherd. The added Neoprene and the padded chest plate add both comfort and buoyancy for water work. It's not a PFD (we have those too) but will help with a river or lake crossing. Remington didn't overlook handler convenience when making these. One of the nicer things is the included backpack straps that allow you to carry an injured dog or carry the dog over, under, through or around terrain if need be while keeping your hands free. There are 2 molded TRP handles perfect for a double handed pick up to lift a dog over a fence, up to a platform or into the back of a vehicle. There is also a single 'suit case handle' right in the middle of the harness for one handed use. The harness has full LBV capability with the AustriAlpine Cobra Buckles and added rear leg straps. Remington also added a quick connect camera mount for use with low light camera systems should you need to add that. A word on the camera mount. These guys have figured out, probably, the fastest cleanest way to mount the camera to on the dog. Currently, the Operator is a favorite of MARSOC teams and NYPD Transit Authority K9 Units.
The second harness from Remington is the Recon. It shares the same platform as the Operator with a little different materials. It still uses the Trelleborg in high stress and wear areas but moves to Cordura for the body. The LBV straps are removed to make more room on the back of the harness for equipment and streamlining. Sizing is done via different top panels and the mil-spec tension shackles instead of the Cobra's on the Operator as well as 4 way stretch hex mesh. The Recon is very similar to another harness that is sold at $400 to $500 more.
While the Operator comes with a padded chest panel that offers some flotation, it is more supplemental than a working PFD. Remington does offer a positive buoyancy vest. The K9 PFD was designed to keep the dog up right in rough water. It can be used as a stand alone unit or in conjunction with the Recon or Operator vest. It features a suit case handle and 2 buckles for easy on and off. The feature we like most is the flotation is on the bottom and around the dogs core and prevents them from slipping out or 'turtleing' like other products.
Sizing. Small is female Malinois or male pup under 55-60 pounds. Medium is for most all Malinois or Dutch Shepherd 's in the 65-80 pound range. Large is for GSDs or GIANT Malinois and Dutch Shepherds The medium and large both come with expansion panels. Note that the tops are universal on the medium and larges. So we can always marry a new bottom to them in case a vest gets passed along to other handlers/dogs.
Both come in Black or Coyote Tan